Former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday (April 20, 2021) in Minneapolis of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd.
Jesse Van Tol, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, made the following statement:
“A jury returned a verdict that was obvious. But the outcome wasn’t, because police are so rarely held accountable for killing anyone, and almost never when the victim is Black. So we held our breath and braced for another disappointment, and now we’re relieved that a killer was found guilty of a crime witnessed by the entire world. We can exhale. But George Floyd can’t.
“After his brutal murder, recorded on a cell phone by a teenager, the criminal justice system worked the way it should always work. But the system itself is not restored or repaired with this one conviction. So much more work needs to be done to transform policing, so that parents of Black children do not need to have ‘the talk,’ the warning and the lessons about how to avoid being killed by the police because if you are Black you are more than twice as likely to be killed by police than if you are White.
“Policing needs to be not just reformed but reinvented, America’s first-in-the-world rate of imprisonment needs to be reduced, and all the racist foundations of inequality need to be torn down and rebuilt so all families have access to great schools, healthcare, nutritious food, knowledge and information and opportunities to thrive, to earn a living income, buy a home, and accumulate wealth to pass on to the next generation. The conviction of Derek Chauvin was important, but it was a small step and now we’ve got to go much further to create a nation that works fairly for everyone, so that one day, someday, all parents can feel confident that the police are there to serve and protect their communities, and not to kill their children.”